Odometer: approx. 60,800
We drive almost directly (without too many stops) to Bakersfield. HWY 395 leads us slowly down in elevation to a lower level over the first 120 miles. With each mile the landscape is getting more desert like, the green trees and bushes are getting fewer and fewer. On HWY 14 we take a detour along Lake Isabella which quite nice and a bit greener again. We arrive in Bakersfield at around 1:00 pm.
Our dear Jeep has been showing very “unhealthy” behavior for quite a while now and no mechanic has been able to help us and figure out what it is, additionally we were told at the last oil change that we need to replace parts of the exhaust and it also recently started to rattle when braking. So to fix the breaks alone we would have to spend about $300 to $400. The exhaust another $300 to $400 and this other problem that no one could figure out yet, maybe $700, $1,000, $3,000? Who knows and all this for a car with over 60,000 miles? No, that is not worth it. Oh, and I almost forgot – the windshield would need to be replaced as well, as it has several cracks. And even though we really liked that Jeep from the look and feel, we shop around for alternatives.
Marco found an almost new Toyota 4Runner on the internet last night, which is in Bakersfield. We soon find the car standing there in the sun on a huge lot of used cars. They also have another nice car that draws our attention, so we take a test drive with the Toyota and with a Lexus. At around 2:30 p.m. we are back and agree that we would like to see the numbers on both cars and know how much we would get for our Jeep as a trade in.
At 9:00 pm we drive off with our new Toyota 4Runner! It takes very long to buy a car over here and it is a nerve wrecking experience that really tests our patience! But, eventually we got a good deal, thanks to Marco’s excellent negotiation skills!
Tired and sweaty we take the first hotel, we find in our coupon journal. It’s the worst we had in the last 9 or 10 weeks of traveling. Besides a bad smell and no internet, we even had a cockroach in our bath.
Overnight Stay: Americas Best Value Inn, Bakersfield, CA
Dinner: Some small eatery just next door